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In Sweden, we do it like this: On cultural references and subtitling norms
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9452-5419
2016 (English)In: inTRAlinea: Online Translation Journal, ISSN 1827-000XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What would the VA say if Al Roker was a Keystone Kop at Panmunjon? Subtitling is not just a matter of linguistic transfer; building bridges between cultures is every bit as important. This article is based on a subtitled translation of the episode of The West Wing which is the basis for this issue of inTRAlinea. The episode has been subtitled using established Swedish subtitling norms for television. These norms are of two kinds, partly technical, dealing with expected reading speed, subtitle density and condensation, and also translation-related. In this article the translation norms under discussion are those that govern the translation of extralinguistic cultural references (ECRs), i.e. references that are expressed verbally, but which refer to cultural items outside of language, such as names of people and places (like Al Roker or Panmunjon). A model for rendering such references in subtitled translations is presented; it consists of two parts: a taxonomy of translation strategies, and a series of parameters that influence the choice of translation strategy. This model is applied to the ECRs in the episode, using Swedish subtitling norms. The results are presented and complex cases are discussed further, as we find out how we can make a target audience understand the connotations of those bungling Keystone Kops.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
cultural references, subtitling, norms, translations strategies, west wing, audiovisual translation
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Translation Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-135476OAI: diva2:1045529

Special Issue: A Text of Many Colours – translating The West Wing. Edited by: Christopher Taylor.

Available from: 2016-11-09 Created: 2016-11-09 Last updated: 2016-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Pedersen, Jan
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